Protests are omnipresent – they range from citizens’ initiatives against roads to revolts against authoritarian regimes, from radical right-wring parades to walls full of graffiti. Despite the evident importance of protests and social movement for democratic systems, we know little about their dynamics. Who is drawn to protests in the street and who chooses other forms of resistance? Under which conditions are movements for democracy successful and when do they fail? How does the role of political organisations change as people increasingly communicate online? Which political activism creates a democratic culture, which furthers exclusion and discrimination?
Systematic analyses are necessary in order to answer these questions. However, research on this issue remains episodic and fragmentary in the German-speaking social sciences. The Institut für Protest- und Bewegungsforschung (ipb, Institute for Social Movement Studies) aims to fill these gaps.
The institute is a research hub that connects more than 80 social movement scholars, mostly from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The ipb initiaties and facilitates collaborative research projects. It operates in the spirit of public sociology: foundational research is developed in dialogue with practitioners. ipb understands social science research as a contribution to tackling social problems that needs to face public scrutiny.
The mission of ipb is to:
- conduct research projects and create expertise
- connect scholars in the field and make their research visible
- initiate public debates
- act as a contact point for anybody interested in academic expertise on protests and social movements
For further information in English please contact Moritz Sommer (sommer.moritz(at)fu-berlin.de).